If my landlord told me 55 days after I moved out that he is keeping my security deposit for cleaning and damages, can I sue for not being informed earlier?

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If my landlord told me 55 days after I moved out that he is keeping my security deposit for cleaning and damages, can I sue for not being informed earlier?

I repeatedly contacted my former landlord to get my security deposit back. He is keeping it for cleaning costs, repainting and damages. I have photographs of the apartment of the day I left to prove otherwise (no damage). Is it difficult (worth it) to sue for security deposit? Do I need a lawyer? Or is it recommended? If the landlord counter sues for damages, is it the landlords responsibility to prove damages, or the tenants to prove otherwise? We did not do a walk through at the end of the lease.

Asked on January 24, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Colorado

Answers:

Hong Shen / Roberts Law Group

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Check your own state law. In California, a landlord must give a detailed statement 21 days from moving out, or otherwise he could face a damage up to twice the amount of the deposit. Ask the landlord for itemize statement to show what has been done to the property. Consult a lawyer if you will.


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